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152                                    FLORA  INDICA.
extensive tracts near the river are covered with dense jungle,
chiefly of Acacia AraKca and Prosopis spidgera, the greater
part of the surface is barren of vegetation, and the driest parts
are an absclnte desert. In the lower part of the delta, within
reach of the tides, a low jungle of mangroves occupies the
swampy islets.
The vegetation of Sindh was first made known to science
by Griffith, who traversed the upper part of the province on
Ms way to Afghanistan, and has recorded in his private jour-
nals and literary notes 'the most characteristic plants which
he observed. It has also been explored by Major Vicary, who
has published in the Asiatic Society's Journal a list of its
plants. For our very complete knowledge of its flora we are,
however, mainly indebted to the late Dr. Stocks*, whose la-
bours in this interesting province throw much light on Indian
"botany. Dr. Stocks' collections amount to little more than
four hundred species, so that the flora is a very poor one.
No doubt, as he has himself stated, a careful exploration of the
hilly districts would considerably increase this number; but
we feel confident that the novelties would be almost if not
entirely western forms, and would therefore increase the pro-
portion, already great, which these bear to forms characteristic
of Eastern India vegetation.
More than nine-tenths-of the Sindh vegetation, on a. rough
estimate, consists of plants which are indigenous in Africa.
At least one-half of these are common Nubian or Egyptian
plants, but which, from being indifferent to moisture, arc dif-
fused over all parts of India. As examples we may mention
Gymndropsispentaphylla, Abutilonlndicum, Tributes terrestris,
Tephrosia purpurea, Glinus lotoides, Grangea Maderaspatanq,
* Since the printing of tho earlier part of this Introduction, Indian botany
has sustained ait irreparable loss by the death of Dr. Stocks, from whose labours
much was oxpected, and to whom wo )md ourselves looked for valuable assist-
ance in tho preparation of these notes on the vegetation of Western Inditw
Fortunately for science a vevy complete scries of his collections exists in th<*
Hpokerian and Benthamian Herbaria, accompanied by a catalogue very care-
fully drawn up, and many important notes, of which we have made use abow.